Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Expat and the Immigrant

No matter where we come from, we come with a worldview that affects the way we see, hear, interact and process. There is no right or wrong worldview but living in a different culture, I often bump up against my worldview and perception of what’s “right” and what is wrong.

I welcome food for thought that causes me to examine. Here’s an thought to chew on. 

"An African who lives in Europe and a European who lives in Africa commit the same Act, in the sense that they leave their "home" and go to the others’ "home". 
Now, the African living in Europe is called an "IMMIGRANT", a word that evokes the idea of one that came inside your house, the act itself invasive and annoying in the long run.
In contrast, the European living in Africa is called an "EXPATRIATE" or, more cutely, "EXPAT", words that evoke the idea of one who is simply out of his home, perhaps gone out to take a stroll, an entirely legitimate act and not at all annoying. 
Discrimination begins with words."

Thoughts?

6 comments:

emilykate said...

Wow, this definitely had never dawned on me. I have lots of other thoughts but can't quite put them into words. :) thanks for sharing.

Sara Huber said...

Fascinating! I have always assumed an immigrant is someone who moves elsewhere with the intention to stay and gain citizenship if possible whereas an expat is someone who temporarily lives outside his country with the plan to return???
But regardless, there are stereotypes associated with both terms and they could certainly be discriminatory. Expats are probably always in a "better" position because they have options and resources to leave a place if necessary...
Love keeping up with you guys a little! Blessings as you transition out of full-time language!!

L, Ann and boys said...

interesting... my only thought is I hope I use words wisely and if I don't others will forgive my ignorance. :/

Sarah said...

Wow so interesting!

The Ringgers said...

Interesting. Like Emily I have lots of thoughts on this, but hard to articulate. Mostly I feel a sense of sadness of how discrimination/racism exists so profoundly in our world.

Anonymous said...

what about a European immigrated to America?